Merry Christmas 2008

There’s something about adding another child and doing more at church that makes life a whole lot busier than before! We planned to take a family Christmas picture the week before Thanksgiving….and then we re-planned to do it the Saturday after Thanksgiving….and then again last weekend…and well, it didn’t happen for various reasons. We’ll have to take an after Christmas picture or something and send it out. We did do Annika pictures though and I’ll post the one of her. 

It’s been an eventful year, though once you add children to the equation, it’s an eventful year EVERY year! We spent a lot of the year enjoying the beautiful surroundings that our Heavenly Father created. We went exploring in the mountains and took long drives to appreciate the view. There were camp-outs and cook-outs and walks by the river. We also enjoyed local events like: rodeo’s and soccer games and parades and bbq’s. Our time together as a family has increased greatly since we moved to Eagle, Co and I can honestly say it’s my favorite things about being here. It’s a beautiful quiet little town with quaint shops, friendly people and fun things to do. 

We moved a whopping 3/4 of a mile this year to a place with a little more space, to accommodate our third child, Annika and to protect Lauren’s sanity. It’s a beautiful place, maybe a little bigger than we really needed, but was the only one we could find with three bedrooms on one floor. Annika’s birth brought many welcome visitors and we were grateful to have the extra space to house them. We’ve learned that we have a love/hate relationship with hardwood floors, and a three level home is great exercise! Oh, and I still don’t like stainless steel appliances!  

Natasha has grown in leaps and bounds this year. This is meant physically and mentally. At age 4 1/2, she is now a whopping 32 lbs and has shot up about 6 inches or more in the last year. She can actually fit into some clothes that are size 4. 😉 Her vocabulary and sentence structure have improved greatly and she loves to talk. (I wonder where she gets that from?). One of her favorite things to do is to tell us stories. She apparently has lots of kids and her aspirations include: being a Mom and doing ballet. Singing and making up songs is also high on her list. You can tell when she’s happy because she’ll be singing a tune at the top of her lungs. She completed her third session of swimming lessons this past summer and acquired the skill of going under water without plugging her nose. Tasha started 2 days/wk of preschool in the fall and has been thriving. She is writing most of her letters and can recognize and write some numbers as well. 

Kevin is a different boy compared to last December. He is only a few inches shy of Tasha and outweighs her by a few pounds. He’s still very much in love with anything “CARS”, but airplanes, helicopters and food all come in close seconds. Speaking of food, the boy can still eat and we love that he’s willing to try just about anything and he actually LIKES quite a few veggies. Can I get a whoop, whoop?! We can understand him most of the time and he’s getting better at expressing himself, though there are times we still don’t get what he’s saying. He’s our rubber-face of the family and loves to make everyone laugh. He’ll do ANYTHING to get a laugh. Kevin really has a love for music and dancing, much like his sister. If it’s got a good beat, he’s dancing.

Annika is 4 1/2 months old now and full of smiles and giggles for anyone who pays attention to her, including cashiers, random people in grocery stores, etc. Although her biggest laughs and grins are saved her family (I like to think!). She’s really become aware of her surroundings and is fascinated by all the Tasha and Kevin do. She’s rolled over a few times and likes to sit up whenever possible, though still needs a little help with that. She really is our angel baby and other than being in a carseat is just about as easy as pie. Lately, she’s gotten very loud at expressing her feelings if she’s not being paid attention to, or if she’s trying to tell you something special. She adores the Christmas tree and has been spending a lot of time underneath it, staring at the lights. (she’s our little Christmas present!) Mommy is very happy that Annika typically sleep almost the whole night through…

Speaking of Mommy (me), I’ve had a pretty good year. I must say that as hard as it can be to deal with a gassy, dairy-free baby, I’m so glad I’m not pregnant anymore! I’ve been figuring out the mommy of three thing and I think I’m getting there. I’ll have a little more time once Annika is eating baby food and I can eat whatever I want. Since September, I’ve been working with the Young Women at church as the secretary. It’s been challenging at times to balance my family responsibilities with my church responsibilities, but I’ve loved getting to know the youth of the church and have found it very rewarding. I’ve made some good friends this year and felt much love and support because of their friendship. 

Ammon’s job has continued to be a blessing and he still loves what he does. Hopefully by this time next year, he’ll be able to show you all what it is that he’s been working on. It should be done by then. He has done quite a bit of off-roading this year and “Jack” has the scratches and dents to show for it! They come not as a result of his driving, but as a result of the level of trails he’s been driving! Ammon has also been thrilled to put his paintballing skills to the test. In addition to off-roader, paintballer, skiier, splunker and hiker, he can also add tailor to his list of titles this year! He made a “ghilly” suit for paintballing (camoflauge poncho-type thing made of string), my super-girl halloween costume and Kevin’s prince costume….I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting. He’s currently enjoying the plentiful snow we’re having and gets excited when he’s sees even one flake falling.

All in all, it’s been a challenging, but good year and I think we’ve all changed and progressed a little for the better. If nothing else, our blessings and the beauty around us have solidified our knowledge that our Father in Heaven is aware of us, knows us each individually and loves us more than we comprehend. We are so thankful that we have this time of year to celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ and the example he provided for us. He has given us so much to be thankful for this year and we can’t wait to see what He has in store for us next year.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a great new year! 

We love each of you and hope this little post finds you happy, healthy and remembering how special you are to us.

Lauren, Ammon, Natasha, Kevin and Annika xxxxxooooo

Calling all parents…

Ok, we need your help! For the past two or three weeks, we have been dealing with an extremely hostile, angry, difficult little boy who won’t listen to ANYTHING we say, repeats the same things over and over and over and generally drives us all nuts. He was such a sweet baby and yes, a hard 2 year old, but this 3 years old thing is a whole other story. 

We’ve tried being patient and calm, we’ve tried yelling and spanking….there have been lots of talks and time-outs and even ignoring, but NOTHING seems to be working and it’s getting old really, really REALLY fast. Especially since we’ve all had nasty colds the past week or more and sick, sleep-deprived, dairy-free Mommy doesn’t have much patience left these days. Let’s just say if I don’t have a few gray hairs by the end of the Christmas season, I’ll be surprised!

HELP!!! Suggestions needed..